Attention conservatives and moderates who believe America needs a new president: the sky is NOT falling.
Admittedly this week has not been good for Mitt Romney.
To be honest, the Republican nominee hasn’t really had a good week since polishing off his intraparty rivals many months ago.
Romney’s running mate announcement and the GOP convention provided a minimal bounce for the Republican ticket and the Bain Capital executive has spent more time in President Barack Obama’s rearview mirror than in front his windshield.
And the recent delayed released “gaffe” (the media’s interpretation of what Romney said and not my own) has not helped matters, not because he said anything offensive but because the networks have overplayed the story to distract from the true state of the American economy and the blatant Obama White House foreign policy bumbling.
Before writing the election off in despair or believing the media hype, here are a few things for Republicans to consider.
First, the polls are not nearly as bad as they seem. While a perusal of the national and state polls on the Real Clear Politics site reveals far more blue text than red, there is something noteworthy in many of the numbers: in the states that are actually up for grabs, the president rarely breaks 50%, which is relevant.
When an incumbent seeks re-election, whether he is the President of the United States or town alderman, and polls at 50% or below, he’s typically in trouble when the ballot boxes open.
And in the case of a presidential election, the challenger matters less in the outcome than the president as a bid for a second term is a referendum on the first term. Which is why Obama and his allies have worked so hard to spin the 2012 election as a second referendum on George W. Bush’s last term in office.
This past week alone, polls have given Romney leads in the swing states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado and Florida. And there have been polls this past week that have given the president a lead in those same states.
Polls in Nevada, Virginia and Michigan have the president under 50% and holding no more than a three-point lead over his Republican opponent.
Furthermore, in the national polls, Romney and Obama have either tied or traded leads pending on what day and which poll you look at. Rasmussen has generally had the Republican nominee with a slight lead over the president while Gallup has given an edge to Obama. And sometimes they flip.
The point is, the polls show a fluid race, which is not very reassuring for a sitting president at this juncture.
Secondly, Romney has remained competitive despite the reality that the mainstream media and entertainment industry that attempts, and sometimes succeeds, to pass themselves off as news programs have acted as an offensive line for the Obama Administration, burying bad news on the president and hyperventilating the negative on Romney and the GOP.
The producers and frontmen at ABC, the Daily Show and MSNBC cannot shill enough for Obama to convince someone who has been out of work for months that things are fine in the country, at least for everyone else.
Third, and most importantly, are the October debates, which apparently will be the only time the president will actually have to defend his record in office with follow up questions
It will be within the confines of the University of Denver (October 2nd), Hofstra University (October 16th) and Lynn University in Boca Raton (October 22nd) where Romney will make his case for a change in government directly to the people while Obama will not be able to phone in Bill Clinton for a lifeline.
The debates will mark the rare occasions where the American public, by this time engaged in the presidential election, can judge the candidates and their ideas without media interpretation.
Though November 6th is not far away, there is plenty of time left on the clock for Romney to catch up as the president’s lead in the swing states is marginal and the gap has shifted on a daily basis.
While Romney isn’t winning, the polls show that he can still win.
And that’s more hope than Bob Dole had on his best day in 1996.